My Dog Loses Balance While Walking


Dogs, like people, can lose their balance when walking at some point, even falling to the ground. The first time something like this happens to your dog it’s normal that you get scared and don’t understand what’s wrong. Therefore, it is important to know what the reasons may be that cause this behavior, to know its causes, to know how to act and to determine when it is appropriate to go to the vet.

Next, we are going to see some of the reasons that can cause your dog to lose balance when walking and what are some of the possible solutions. Do you want to know more about your dog’s loss of balance? Keep reading!

My dog ​​staggers and falls why?

The motives that can lead to your dog losing his balance when walking and falling to the ground can be diverse. The balance depends mainly on the so-called labyrinth or vestibular apparatus, located in the inner ear. This apparatus is one of the centers that regulates and distributes information to maintain balance. Another part that also influences stability is the cerebellum, located at the back of the skull.

Alterations or problems in any of these parts can lead to equilibrium losses on your dog. Since this instability can be caused by different reasons, it is good that you know other symptoms that may appear, which will help you differentiate between the possible causes.

Loss of balance in dogs generally appears for the following reasons:

My dog ​​loses his balance because he has vertigo

The feeling dizzy in a dog it appears when the activity of its labyrinth or vestibular system is partially or totally interrupted or altered. There is an incongruity between the information you receive from your eyes and that sent by your labyrinth or cerebellum. This causes disorientation and can lead to loss of balance. You can also observe other symptoms in him, such as tilting his head to one side, difficulty coordinating his movements, vomiting or nausea. This can happen for different reasons:

  • Side effects of medicines
  • Meningitis, when inflammation appears in the tissues
  • Labyrinthitis, is caused by swelling or irritation of the inner ear
  • Traumatic injuries that affect any of the areas involved in balance

Another type of vertigo that you may experience is what is called false vertigo. In this case, the animal’s labyrinth and cerebellum system is not affected. The causes of false vertigo can be due to various alterations such as medications, poisoning, hypoglycemia, anemia or pulmonary embolism.

The symptoms that loss of balance can be associated with are:

  • Palpitations
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Tremors
  • Falls

My dog ​​loses his balance because he suffers from vestibular syndrome

This syndrome appears when there is any damage or alteration in any of the points of the vestibular system, responsible for maintaining balance as we have commented previously. Two types of damage can occur in this system:

  • Peripheral vestibular syndrome– Caused when the damage is in the inner ear. In this situation, there are no mobility problems in the animal’s legs.
  • Centralized vestibular syndrome: occurs when the alteration is located in any of the parts of the brain involved in balance. In this case, associated symptoms such as loss of consciousness, neurological disorders and nystagmus, which consists of rapid eye movements, may appear.

Some of the causes that can lead to vestibular syndrome are:

  • Bleeding
  • Infectious otitis
  • Neoplasms: refers to the appearance of abnormal mass in the tissue
  • Inflammatory processes

My dog ​​staggers and falls because he has ataxia

Among the possible causes for which a dog loses balance when walking is ataxia. There is a uncoordinated between different parts of the body, such as the head and limbs.

It is usually identified because the animal has its head bowed. In addition, they can be presented symptoms such as vomiting, tremors, shortness of breath, seizures, or bleeding.

Solutions to loss of balance in dogs

If your dog loses his balance while walking, do not give him food or water. Put it in a quiet place, with little light, and contact your vet for an examination.

As you have seen, the causes of loss of balance can be diverse, so it is necessary to identify the reason to put the most appropriate treatment or solution in each case. Some of the alternatives are:

  • Antibiotics: if the cause is caused by the presence of an infection.
  • Surgical intervention: when the condition is more serious and there is damage to internal areas. A more complex treatment is required to solve the problem.
  • Repose: In some situations the symptoms can subside on their own with the passage of time. In this case, they recommend that your dog move as little as possible. Generally, in a few weeks the symptoms remarkably subside.
  • Medicines: to reduce the presence of dizziness and some symptoms such as vomiting.


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